January was a particularly violent month in Sweden. A 63-year-old man was killed in Stockholm by a hand grenade lying in the street. A Dutch exchange student was hit by a stray bullet during an execution-style killing at a pizza restaurant in Uppsala. In Gothenburg, a hand grenade was thrown into a flat and exploded in the kitchen — the same predominantly immigrant-populated suburb where an eight-year-old British boy was killed in a grenade attack less than two years ago. In Malmö, a grenade was tossed at a police station and exploded outside. So it has not, so far, been a very happy new year.
For Swedes, this has become a familiar theme. Gun violence is on the rise, with daylight shootings and without regard for bystanders. In the past nine years, reported and attempted murders involving guns have almost doubled. According to Swedish police, hand-grenade attacks (which were virtually unknown until a few years ago) are without parallel in countries not at war.